ATM Modernization, Commercial

FAA: NextGen Moving Ahead

By Tish Drake | June 16, 2011
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FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to NextGen, saying the industry has made “very tangible gains” in the last year in implementation. Babbitt addressed the RTCA Symposium in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“As we go forward, I think we can all agree that equipage is a critical building block for NextGen. And everyone will bear the responsibility of modernizing our system. The FAA cannot do NextGen alone. This must be a partnership,” he said. “Building the infrastructure for NextGen, without all of us working to equip the aircraft, is like building a great race car without tires. We can sit in the garage and rev-up, but we’re not going anywhere.”

Babbitt said FAA is reorganizing its internal structure in an effort to be more “nimble” in NextGen implementation. FAA revised the structure of the NextGen organization, moving it from the Air Traffic Organization and to report directly to Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta.

“We believe this structure will enable the NextGen organization to concentrate on short-term and long-term goals without the burden of dealing with day-to-day operational concerns as well. NextGen is bigger than any one of the FAA’s lines of business and affects all of them,” Babbitt said.

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